Sberbank Adds Self-driving Cars to Portfolio with New Tech Partnership

The biggest bank in Russia, state-run Sberbank, has made yet another foray into technology and added driverless cars to its list of ventures, by teaming up with software company Cognitive Technologies, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Sberbank and the AI transport developer have signed a legally binding document to create a new company, Cognitive Pilot, they said in a statement.

Russia’s biggest lender will have a 30% share in the company, while Cognitive Technologies will take 70%. The two companies did not disclose financial details of the deal, which will be completed in December.

The move marks the latest foray into Russia’s digital economy for state-owned Sberbank, which agreed on a food delivery joint venture with internet company earlier this month and agreed to buy an equity stake in the internet company.

The new firm will be engaged in developing “digital economy projects in transport, agriculture, computer vision and artificial intelligence,” the statement said.

Russian internet giant Yandex currently leads the way in Russia’s driverless car market, testing its technology on the streets of Moscow and Israel, with a license to begin testing in the United States from next summer.

Earlier this month,’s rival and Russia’s biggest tech firm Yandex said it had begun testing autonomous delivery robots.

Cognitive Technologies builds components for driverless vehicles and also develops autonomous control systems for agricultural machinery, trains and trams. Its clients include Hyundai Mobis, Russian Railways and Rusagro, a Russian agricultural firm.

This month, Sberbank said it had agreed to transfer a “golden share” it holds in Yandex to a new public interest company proposed by Yandex.